American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Geophysical and Geological Studies of the Spread and Industrial Quality of Okurike Barite Deposit

Anthony E. Akpan, Ebong D. Ebong, Stephen E. Ekwok and Sackey Joseph

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2014.566.574

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 10, Issue 6

Pages 566-574

Abstract

Investors have been avoiding the Okurike Barite due to paucity of information on its economic worth in spite of the high demand for barites by the local industries. This study was embarked upon to determine the spread and industrial quality of the barite deposit in order to bridge the information gap. The Okurike Barite mineralised site was investigated using geophysical Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) and Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) and geological techniques. The geophysical data were acquired along three profiles while the barite samples were analysed using the laboratory techniques in order to determine their elemental compositions and physical characteristics. Results show that the barites occur with gravels, breccias and weathered basement materials within a very limited region. The resistivity values of the barite mineralised region were observed to vary between 731 and ~1500 Ωm. The barites are characterised by specific gravity of 4.4, density of 3.64 g/cm3, porosity of 28%, uniaxial compressive strength of 29.4 kN/mm2 and water absorption capacity of 1.5%. The elements Ba and Fe dominate the elemental composition with 77.28 and 19.98% respectively. BaO, Fe2O3 and MnO are preferentially enriched with abundance of 71.28, 21.40 and 6.10% respectively. These results show that the industrial quality of the Okurike Barite is high although its spread is limited.

Copyright

© 2014 Anthony E. Akpan, Ebong D. Ebong, Stephen E. Ekwok and Sackey Joseph. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.